My Bio: Relay reptiles

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Relay Reptiles:

Read on how our owner got started with taking care of us and why she continues with what she does.  (The animal's stories)


Hi, my name is Zeus, I am a green iguana. My owner was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October of 2005. The day before her first chemotherapy treatment, she had an urge to come to a pet store to look around. She then caught a glimpse of me, and insisted she had wanted to take care of me during her chemo. I was a scared little baby at the time. But everyday, she would take me out and play with me and I would get used to her and being handled. I always loved to lay on her arms and fall asleep for hours. She was always happy to see me. Now I am 4 feet long and still growing, and still love to fall asleep in her arms. As of February 2nd of 2006, she has gone into remission, but still has a mass in her chest and continues to go to Philly for testing. In the middle of chemotherapy, she had gotten a friend for me who was very scared and sick. Being that she was sick, she started taking care of animals, even sickly ones, and she does a wonderful job. My friend Orion, a green iguana, was also a baby who was in a pet store for sale. She had asked about him and found out he was missing a few toes, and the previous owner had left him running around in the dark in his basement. So decided she wanted to take him home. We all got along great. But he would always take my basking spot. His nickname was spaz; which fit him well at the time. She would always take him out, hold him, and give him warm baths.  Of course we would always find ways to get dirty.  Unfortunately, my friend Orion had died in August of 2007, of internal problems (what the previous vet had said).  She soon took in 3 "orphaned" iguanas who were dropped off, one of them a female named Shadow.  And well, the next story I’ll save for my other friend who is still remarkably with us and is stronger than ever.

My name is Luckie. I am a 6 year old green iguana. Christina had come to a reptile show, on one of her better days and had found an iguana rescue center. There were 2 others not including me that people had given up. She had spotted me and inquired about me. She found out that I had metabolic bone disease.  If it is advanced far enough, it is irreversible and can cause death. Thankfully, my case was not to those extremes. Mine could be reversed with proper care. This disease is caused by improper lighting and occurs mainly over time. She put in a donation for me and carried me out. She had gotten the proper lighting for me and held me out in the sun light and had me on a harness and went for walks when my back legs were able to move. I always begged her to let me climb my favorite tree outside, and her car:-). She was leery, but on a leash, she had gotten to see how I was improving. Zeus and myself had gotten to be best "climbing" buddies, and boy did I beat his butt! I cannot believe that I can actually climb again! It was a wonderful feeling. Christina was over filled with joy as well. As of now, I am still strong and growing well; although I think I’m getting a little fat, but that’s ok. I’ll lose it when I climb those trees in the summer time. Let me allow Emril and Lela, to tell you another story of an unfortunate lizard I only got to know for a month.

Hi, we are Emril (Emmy) and Lela; bearded dragons. Our owner had gotten a phone call about a free female bearded dragon. She went to visit her and noticed something was wrong. She willingly took her in and noticed she also had metabolic bone disease. But this was too far advanced that it was irreversible. She was a full grown bearded dragon who should’ve been 7-8 inches long. She was only 4 inches long! The bones were growing too rapidly and crushing her organs. She knew she could only give her a great time and a lot of attention and certain medication, until her body would give up on her. She had her out in the sunlight, held her every night, gave her medicine, splinted up her broken arm, and yes wiped her behind. (She could not go to the bathroom by herself) She went from not moving, to walking, climbing, and curling up beside her everyday. One day when Chrissy had woken up to give her her morning medication, she had found Ivory laying still and not moving. She knew the day would come, but was so disappointed that she couldn’t make her have a longer life. As sad as she was, she knew in her heart that she had made that last month, the best that Ivory had ever had. She then whet out to bury her and put flowers in her little claws in a nice box. Of course we all miss her. She had a wonderful disposition! Allow me to have King Tut, the savannah monitor tell you about Aristotle, a Cuban Knight anole. Tut:

Well, as they said, my name is King Tut. I was blessed to have met Aristotle in 2005. Chrissy had went to a pet store and noticed that the little critter was not well, and that there was improper care information about her, and decided to take her home. Her parents were great care takers and realized how much helping sick animals made her feel happier, in a sense that she could "take in the sick while she was sick" - she knew what it was like to not feel well. When I first saw Aristotle, her appearance kind of scared me. She looked like a cross between a gecko, chameleon, and a croc. Her head was hard like a croc, her eyes could move individually, she could change colors slightly, and her feet could stick fast to the glass like a gecko. But, I eventually had gotten used to her. It was heart-breaking, she couldn’t eat, was not a happy camper because nobody had ever handled her before, and could barely move. Chrissy had taken her out everyday and syringed fed her with medicine 3 times a day, even though she would get bitten every now and then, but she knew she had to do it. She also had to force feed her crickets, but sometimes she would spit them back out. She never gave up though. We knew her for about 3 months, and eventually she had perished. She too was buried with the rest and is never forgotten.  Let me allow Max, her German shepherd, to tell you the story about Taz, The Indian frilled dragon.

Ruff, well my name is Max. Taz was a great lizard, even though I think he hated me. He would always "frill" when I walked by his tank, and yes, I would run away.  He was taken in from another pet store in which they did not have the proper care of info on him. Chrissy had read up on this species, and had learned a great deal.  He was not eager to eat and very lethargic. She kept a close eye on him for a week and still no eating. She then started to force feed. Sometimes he would eat, sometimes he would not. She then gave him an appetite stimulant by mouth every day and continued to keep a close eye on him. Unfortunately, during this time, Chrissy needed to have more testing done, and could not afford to take him to the vet. A little while later she found him lying on his back not moving, after coming back home from Philly for chemo.  She had a rough day, and was very weak. I was outside with her as she tried to find the strength to dig up the cold hard ground to bury him with the rest. I couldn’t help but sit there with her as she cried while she was trying to dig. I love my mom very much and have been with her for over four years now.  She is a true hard worker, and would try to never let her chemo get the best of her. Many times I have heard and watched the ambulance people come into our house and take her out on a stretcher to the hospital. I wish I could’ve gone every time and sat by her bed-side. She would have pseudo-seizures many times during her treatments, and still does from time to time, due to stress and anxiety.

Your probably wondering how she knows as much as she does. Well, during chemo, she had done lots of research and reading about animals, including, of course her favorites - reptiles. She went into remission on December 23rd, which was the mid-way of her chemo treatments. She was down and out for Christmas, but her and her family including me, had gotten our Christmas wish; she was in remission. However she still needed 3 more aggressive treatments to make sure and kill anything that might have been left. Her last treatment was on February 2nd, 2006, but she still has a mass in her chest, and still goes to Philly for testing to make sure it does not grow. We all pray it will not come back. She became an active firefighter as of September 11th, 2006, to keep physicaly strong, and a high interest in this volunteer activity. She wants to also give back and help the community after they have helped so much during the hard times. The hard times are never over, but she continues to move on and keep going. Giving up is not in her vocabulary. However, she did have a hard time, when my buddy, another German shepherd she had taken in, had to be put to sleep on her birthday of 2006. She went to see him one last time before they put him to sleep, and mind you, he had bad hips and could not jump up, but when he saw her, he jumped up to give her kisses and love, and had barked when she had to finally leave. Every day is a rough day for her. And she hopes one day things will turn around for the better. During her chemo she was also going through a divorce; her husband could not handle it anymore, and had decided to leave. Distraught, lost, and feeling helpless; she turned to us and continued to take good care of us. She would always laugh and smile when she took us out and played with us. We are all glad she is in our lives! 

She then had eventually taken in a columbian red tail boa, who again looked very sickly at a store (she had a big heart for those that were "special needs") She kept going back to the pet store to see if the snake was improving, and it was not. Her mom had bought her for Chrissy for her to take care of.  Chrissy had noticed she had an upper respiratory infection, very weak, was not eating, and was dehydrated. She was very concerned because she took to this snake the very first time she held her. Her name is Sweetheart for obvious reasons. After a week, she pushed to take her to the vet, in desperate hopes to save this fragile, kind-hearted creature. With financial support, she had been taken to the vet for fluids, because she was dehydrated, nose drops, and several shots for her respiratory infection. Well, I’m gonna leave the rest to Sweetheart herself, who is slowly getting better.

My name is Sweetheart, a Columbian red-tail boa. I was so happy when Chrissy took me in. She gave me so much attention that I had never had before. I am finally starting to eat and am slowly getting better. I was taken to my new home in August of 2007. My new owner has to give me shots everyday in my muscle, along with 2 different types of nose drops for my respiratory infection. I was too weak to bother or even squirm around. Everyday she took me out at night for 2 hours and we would lay together in bed and keep each other company as we rested together. I especially love when she rubs under and on top of my mouth. She trusts me completely and I trust her. I also have a new friend Chrissy had taken in for free; he is a six foot True Peruvian red-tail boa who has been treated very well by his previous owner. Unfortunately the owner knew he did not have as much time to take care of him anymore and gave him to Chrissy to handle and take of. These are just a few of the stories of our owner who has given so much of her time and effort towards us and our health issues and so forth. This is why we are known as the Relay Reptiles. We support her as much as she has supported us and will continue to support her and her cause. So please come and visit her and see us as well, and understand how much we mean to her and she means to us. Thank you for taking the time to read these stories and a special thanks to her parents who has helped financially and physically with adopting us and taking care of us. Remember, we are not just reptiles, we also have hearts and needs. So if you have reptiles at home, please give them the attention they deserve and give them love; they will love you back!  Christina is now the predsident of a non-profit organization called Crusaders for a Cause; this organization was put together to help others (like herself) in need.  Procceds raised from this organization go towards Relay for life, American Cancer Society, St. Jude's, local police and fire depts, and other charities.  For more information on this organization, visit -

 Please come and visit our owner!!